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When Thoughts Will Soar: A Romance of the Immediate Future

313 pages
Library of Alexandria
A young girl stepped out of the gate of the Central Cemetery of Vienna. For almost eight weeks she had been going there to lay a few flowers on her father’s grave. That dearly beloved parent had been her only stay in this world, and he had been so unexpectedly and prematurely snatched away from her! Frank Garlett had reached only the age of forty-five. His sudden death had resulted from an accident: he had fallen from the running-board of a tram-car, had rolled under the wheels, and, severely injured, had been brought to his dwelling by the Rescue Society, and there a few hours later he had breathed his last in the arms of his daughter, who was half-crazed with terror and grief. Franka walked slowly and wearily home from the cemetery. Her lodgings, her empty, orphaned lodgings, were not far distant. Behind her, with steps equally slow, strode a man who had caught sight of her at the cemetery gate, and, dazzled by her brilliant youthful beauty, which betrayed itself in spite of her paleness and the traces of tears, was now following her for the purpose of discovering who she was. He was an elderly man of distinguished appearance. As Franka entered the front door, he also paused there, but did not venture to address her. He merely went to the porter’s door and rang the bell. A buxom woman came out and greeted him:— “What is it you wish?” “I should like to make an inquiry; please allow me to come in.” The woman moved aside and allowed the stranger to pass in. He sat down in an armchair, took out of his pocket his portemonnaie, and handed the woman a ten-crown note. “Tell me, who the young lady is who just entered this house, dressed in deep mourning. And give me all the information you can about her.” “Oh, she?... She’s a Miss Garlett—yes, a pretty lass, but a poor little body! Her father died not long ago, and now she’s all alone.... She was almost beside herself with grief when they took him away. Now she’s a bit calmer. Every day she goes out and visits him in the graveyard, but otherwise she never goes out and no one comes to see her. And no one came to see them when the old gentleman—in fact, he was not old—was alive. You see he met with an accident—fell off the electric. When they brought him in....”